From the official LEGO Cuusoo blog:
Stephen Pakbaz (“Perijove“), a Mechanical Engineer who worked on the actual Curiosity rover at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, designed and submitted the rover project to LEGO CUUSOO in late 2011, to further the educational outreach of the Mars Curiosity rover’s mission, and to encourage greater public support for space exploration. His project reached 10,000 supporters within two weeks of the landing in August 2012, and was selected for production by the LEGO Review Board this June.
I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer, and I applaud Stephen’s model and it getting picked – especially since he actually worked on the rover for NASA, but it could have been so much better. I love that it’s an affordable $29.99, but I’d have been willing to easily shell out $75 or so for a much larger, and comprehensive model of this badass rover.
A while ago I reviewed the LEGO Space book, and LEGO artist Tim Goddard made a freaking awesome model of Curiosity.
I spoke with co-author Peter Reid about the build and he said it’s pretty big and complex. Perfect. Look at the size; the detail. It’s hard to determine exact size since there is nothing for scale, but just compare the camera mast, and the, uh, tail fins? Goddard’s model is quite large, and perfect for display. Exactly the kind of complex model LEGO and science nerds, like me, would want. Not some piddly little one dwarfed by Darth Vader’s TIE fighter. The real Curiosity Rover is roughly the size of a large sedan car.
I’m happy Curiosity got a model, but it’s disappointing. It kind of confuses me how LEGO will put so much detail and scale into something like their modular buildings, but then skimp on something like this. Yes, I am aware it’s based off Stephen Pakbaz’s model and it’s probably about the same size as he originally made it. But, LEGO reserves the right to change/modify the models as they see fit. Here was one instance where they should be drastically upscaled.